Monday, June 16, 2008

Unedited Honesty

About to enter uncharted waters and unfamiliar territory. Unedited honesty comes hard. Didn't write here earlier today. Why? Desperately wanting to sound positive and encouraging - because that's what I do - that's what is expected of me - when the truth is I'm struggling. So many people tell me I have the gift of encouragement - so I've tried all day to find the perfect verse that will lift me up on eagles wings and carry the rest of you with me. But, today, emotions run too raw. Feeling like a complete failure. Overwhelmed with thoughts of disappointing God with all this fear. Trying to be strong on the outside - you know, the mask we all wear that we're trusting God as we skip along to the tune of all things working together for good.

What about when anxiety claims sleep? When thoughts magnify doubts. When you don't want to hear one more, "Don't be afraid" because your head knows those words and you could say them in your sleep...if you were sleeping.

Feeling the pressure of letting my son see his mom trusting in God and not totally falling apart. Needing support and encouragement from a husband who views fear as a waste of time. Questioning, what have I done? Did I make a hasty decision or did I respond to God's call? How on earth am I going to get on that plane and trust God on Friday?

As all these thoughts have collided and attacked today, something wonderful began to happen. God called on a team of mighty women to come alongside this very weary traveller and offer love and hope. I sat for at least an hour and cried over the most precious messages that began to fill my Inbox. Ladies, many of whom I have yet to meet, responded to God's hand on their heart to share their life with me. It wasn't messages of 'buck up and move on', but words of understanding, love and caring. I hesitate to begin to mention names because you know who you are....but to Teri, Melissa, Lelia, Marilyn, Glynnis, Liane, Sharon and Laura, I say a humble thank you. I cannot express to you the gift of acceptance you gave me tonight. No preachy sermons. No pat answers. No 12-step program to conquer fear. You've offered me something so much greater. Tonight, through you, I've experienced God's mercy. I've had a glimpse of unconditional love.

I was the beggar on the side of the road, attacked, wounded, dying. One good Samaritan even rang my doorbell at 9:30pm and off we went to Starbucks where she listened to my heart and spoke God's Word over me. To you my friend - words cannot express the healing ointment you provided after a day of looking brave while running scared.

Little Much Afraid is still afraid. I don't know if that will change. I know it can, but it might not. God is calling me to trust Him in a mountain of fear. I'd love to see victory before I step one foot on that plane, but it may not happen. Satan is doing his best to keep me from believing that God can handle all of this. I hate him and I hate what he is doing to my life - running wild right now over every moment of every day when I am vulnerable, weak and frightened.

"Your enemy is standing on your God given ground daring you to take possession of it" (Beth Moore). Them there are fighting words! Through Christ's death the battle has already been won. I do not feel like a "mighty warrior"...but neither did Gideon or David. The giant stands taunting. His words are like arrows. I cry as each one hits my shield, wishing the fight wasn't so hard. Longing for victory to come easily - without suffocating panic. I don't know what new strategies the evil one will use tomorrow. I pray for strength to get by each moment and with that moment I pray my faith will stand.


Carol said...

Love you friend! Praying you through.

Catherine said...

Praying for you sweetie. God asks us to trust Him and allow Him to work and that's exactly what you're doing....trusting and stepping out in faith. The fear may be there but if you're trusing in the One who understands your fear, that's what He asks. And, we know you are trusting.

Praying for you, lifting you up and holding you close in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.

Love you.

Thankful said...

Darling KNOW how much I love you.....and I just know when you step off that plane in the Carolinas that you are going to be praising our MIGHTY GOD for the opportunity He has given you to KNOW AGAIN that HE CARES and HE WILL take care of you!!!I HEAR your heart with mine today and I wish I could sit beside you --HEY maybe you could come with me today LOL....I am supposed to be landing in thunderstorms!!!.OH JOY OH BLISS and you know how I feel about flying...but we will trust together.....LOVE YOU SO MUCH...can scarcely wait to HEAR all about your experiences.....Lots of love and PRAYER....SIS...REMEMBER...HE IS ABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thankful said...

OH and BY THE WAY...."cute thing"...promise me you will take some FLAT shoes with you--for the do not want to be WALKING FAST (aka running) to keep up with people getting their luggage those darling new shoes....TRUST ME...YOU WILL THANK ME!!!!!!!!!! LOL SIS

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Embrace that run, friend, just as King David did. Pick up your five stone pledge of faith and start throwing. Throw them all the way to Charlotte. I'll see you there. I'll email you later.


tiggerdaisy said...

And you thought you weren't encouraging! Your post was very encouraging to me--as you recounted your blessings from others in your time of need, it encouraged me to be steadfast in my encouragement of others. That is my gift! And as you well know, even encouragers need encouraging!

Prayers and Blessings on your trip to Charlotte...wish I could be with you!


Tracy said...

Praying for you, Joy! I was leaving you a comment here, but it went way too long...changed it to an e-mail, instead. = )


Michelle said...

Much love Joy....I know its so easy for others to say it will be ok...Will be praying hard to keep you strong on friday..

Sheryl said...

thank you for being honest. i want to say "you have every reason to be afraid", but that's probably not the spiritual answer. don't let satan tell you that you're not showing your son a mom who trusts God just because you have some fear! you're showing your son a mom who is real and who is crying out to Jesus in her weakness. way to go!! can't wait to hear about all the rest of the blessings coming your way.

and don't you just love your fellow "sisters", they know right when to come along and just what to say.

praying for you!!!

Marilyn said... you've got ME crying! Something you said made me stop and said you may NOT stop being afraid. Which is true. You may not. Your heart may keep pounding. Your ears may keep buzzing. Your knees may keep knocking. Your hands may keep sweating. Your stomach may keep churning.'re gonna get on that plane and you're gonna do just fine in spite of your fears because God's gonna meet with you there. I've heard that bravery is going on and doing what you need to do even when you're afraid. You're going to higher ground this weekend more ways than one! I'm not a prophet but I just feel that in my bones and I'm so excited for you!!
Abundant blessings my friend!
Marilyn in MS
P.S. I know exactly what it's like to live with a husband who knows no fear!! :) So it MUST be true that opposites attract!

Kelley said...

Oh Joy, you are going to come away from this conference knowing such VICTORY!! I will be praying for you and I can't wait to give you a big hug on Friday!! I'm sorry I haven't visited recently but you have been very much on my mind and in my prayers. 2 more days, girl, you can DO this!!!

Love and Prayers,

Anonymous said...

I am praying. I know the anxiety and fear. I have been struggling with it the past few days, and dealing with the struggle of little sleep. I have no idea why. i just am. so i understand your pain. I will continue praying.
it keeps my mind off me, and focused on Him, and others.
Love you,

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I'm a day late and dollar short. I feel in my rush that I've missed something. I'm unsure of what you were struggling but praying it too has passed and you have been encouraged and uplifted by these wonderful friends and by our Father.

Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

If you need another friend or shoulder, feel free to reply to this comment and send me an email. I'd be glad to support, love, and encourage you.